Dia de los Muertos at the South Campus

For the third year, the South Campus communications department celebrated El Día de los Muertos or the Day of the Dead. The event is celebrated on November 2 and has been part of the Meso-American culture for thousands of years.

It is celebrated by people in Mexico, parts of Central and South America and increasingly throughout the United States. It also coincides with All Souls Day in the Roman Catholic faith. Loved ones construct altars called ofrendas in Spanish that display portraits, favorite foods, and special possessions of their loved ones. There is great symbolism within the decorations on the altars. There are candles that light the way and marigolds are said to attract the souls of the deceased and guide them to this realm so that they can once again partake in some of the pleasures they once enjoyed in this life. Papel picada depicts death in various comical everyday life situations, baking, dancing and cooking. Decorative sugar skulls are placed on the altar to remind us of our mortality and to make the most of our life today.

Participants also were encouraged to participate by posting the names of their loved ones on the Memorial Poster. Throughout the days many people posted touching notes of their loved ones that had died.

The event was led by Mr. Juan Martinez, Spanish, French and humanities professor and assisted by Cristina Doda Cárdenas, distinguished speech professor, as well as English professors Rosalinda Izguerra, Paul Bounds, Patricia Sayles, and Dr. Jayme Long.

More than 180 students came through the event to learn the symbolism and significance of El Día de los Muertos. Coloring pages of decorative skulls were provided as well as traditional Mexican refreshments of Topo Chicos, Manzana, and Piña sodas, with pan de muerto (in the shape of an orange blossom, skull bones, and a cross) and Mexican pastries and cookies for all that participated.